Dan Gross: Racetrack with hop sound track

Jonathan Groff of "Glee" will sing the national anthem at Harrah's.
Jonathan Groff of "Glee" will sing the national anthem at Harrah's. (FOX)
Posted: August 18, 2011

"GLEE" ACTOR Jonathan Groff, who plays Jesse St. James on the Fox hit, will sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at 1:30 Sunday afternoon before a day of harness racing at Harrah's Chester. The Lancaster-raised actor's dad, Jim Groff, is a veteran harness driver and trainer. His son was nominated for a Tony award for his performance in Broadway's "Spring Awakening."

Gay journos Curry favor

"Today Show" co-host Ann Curry and CNN's Don Lemon, formerly of NBC10, will be keynote speakers at the 21st annual National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association convention next weekend at the Loews Hotel.

Other speakers include Daniel Baer of the U.S. State Department, soccer player Joanna Lohman, and a gossip panel featuring Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, whose book "Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back," is out next week, and Rob Shuter of Popeater.com.

'Good Morning' McGee

"Action News" meteorologist Melissa McGee was on the national stage yesterday handling weather from New York during ABC's "Good Morning America."


* Rappers Nas, Mobb Deep and members of the Wu-Tang Clan shopped Mitchell & Ness (12th & Chestnut) recently as did Phillies Shane Victorino and Brian Schneider. Stopping in yesterday were Nicole Barnhart, Lori Lindsey and Tasha Kai of the Philadelphia Independence Womens Professional Soccer team, which has a playoff game Saturday at PPL Park.

* Members of Foreigner dined at Morimoto (723 Chestnut) Sunday and went for sashimi, tuna pizza and several other seafood dishes. The band played the Susquehanna Bank Center Saturday with Journey and Night Ranger.

* Rehabbing Phillies reliever Jose Contreras dined with a few friends Sunday night at Giorgio on Pine (1328 Pine). Contreras signed autographs and posed for pictures with staff and left with a handful of Giorgio's cards to give to family and friends.

* Vinnie DiMartino, of the Discovery Channel's "American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior," was a guest at BeatCancer.org's 5K walk/run party Friday at Dave & Buster's (325 N. Columbus). The Aug. 27 walk/run at the Philadelphia Zoo benefits the Center for Advancement in Cancer Education.

What's your 'Price'?

New "Price is Right" announcer George Gray will be at a casting call for the show from 2 to 5 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. Two local winners will fly to Los Angeles for a show taping and one is guaranteed a spot on Contestants Row.

Applications and eligibility

rules for the "Price is Right" auditions are at cbsphilly.com.

Movie matters

"Operation: Get Rid of Pinky," a Philly-shot film from director Matthew Merz, premieres Aug. 23 at the Trocadero. The screening will be hosted by Star and Bucwild, recently ousted as morning hosts at 100.3 the Beat.

It features Lionel Anthony Cook, rapper Tone Trump, comedian Louis "Twitchels" Centanni, former NBA player Rashad McCants and J.M. Jerkinz Smith.

For info or to see a trailer visit getridofpinky.com.

Local real-estate agent and former Marine Joe Carlin's directorial debut, "The Tea Man," is now available via direct download on Amazon. It's about two friends having a midlife crisis who decide to rob banks. Search "The Tea Man Movie" on Amazon or email Carlin at theteamanmovie@yahoo.com for more info.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow @PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit philly.com/DanGross.

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